As it was developed in 1986, Broadgate was the City of London’s premier office district but it is currently undergoing a period of great change in the extraordinary growth of its surrounding area and the arrival of the new Crossrail station, as well as from rapidly changing global trends in working, living, and leisure.
Today Broadgate is the largest pedestrianised neighbourhood in Central London, home to a diverse community connecting innovation and finance, and a public arena for new food, retail and culture. Currently undergoing transformational change into a world class, mixed-use destination for London, Broadgate will deliver 4.9 million sq ft of new and redefined workspaces, retail and restaurants, bringing people together to work, shop, drink and dine.
By 2030, British Land expects around 50% of its Broadgate business tenants will come from outside the traditional financial sector with a growing focus on Fintech, Technology, and Media. At the same time, the lifestyle expectations of future users and employees are changing, and their employers are in a race to attract and retain talent. Broadgate must respond to this change if it is to remain competitive as a successful central London mixed-use destination.
In 2016, Arup’s urban design team was commissioned by British Land to develop a placemaking strategy to guide Broadgate’s journey from a predominantly office complex to a vibrant central London neighbourhood. Plans include the creation of five new buildings, tripling of the retail provision, and a major refurbishment of its landmark open spaces.
32 acres - London's largest pedestrianised neighbourhood
4.9 million sq ftof office, retail and restaurants
19 millionannual visitors to Broadgate
A masterplan framework
Arup’s placemaking strategy took the form of a masterplan framework to enable British Land to make future design, land use and investment decisions within the estate. The placemaking strategies were informed by a robust baseline assessment of the campus and context from movement patterns to climatic performance, and from demographic change to future-workplace trends. Within the overall masterplan framework of physical and non-physical strategies, a number of other architects, landscape architects, and event planners are now designing and delivering new projects and refurbishments.
Four core principles
The vision for Broadgate was formed around four guiding principles (the “Four Cs”) each with a set of specific recommendations to help achieve the broader aspiration.
Connect to the surroundings – Creating a greater number of physical connections by opening up new and clearer ways into Broadgate from the east and north and better integrating with Liverpool Street station to the south.
Create places from spaces – Highlighting the special character of each of Broadgate’s open spaces and redesigning spaces to be more inviting to a more diverse group of people.
Curate the experience – Using Broadgate’s pedestrian environment as a canvas for a year-round programme of cultural events for workers as well as visitors.
Be a custodian of the wider city – Building a wider Broadgate community and establishing strategic partnerships to advocate for urban change and investment.
An integrated approach
We worked very closely with the client, their designer and architects throughout, and our ability to think creatively within a complex technical context have enabled us to successfully deliver a masterplan that has underpinned £1.5 billion in investment plans.
Continuing to shape the city
Arup’s historic involvement in Broadgate which started with Arup Architecture’s (then Arup Associates) design of the original campus buildings in 1985, continues. Within the overall vision, Arup Architecture has also recently redesigned Broadgate Circle, bringing it back to life as the City of London’s most vibrant and iconic open space.